Gender-specific residential post-release programs that provide incarcerated, African American women with supports may reduce substance use, HIV risk behaviors, and psychological symptoms. It is important to identify the types of settings or interventions that might promote health service utilization and more positive health outcomes following release from jail. Community based participatory research (CBPR) methodology can promote community level changes for these disenfranchised women by joining community agencies, consumers and researchers in the research process. This project established a community advisory board that links an extensive network of service providers and existing community coalitions. The community advisory board brings expertise with incarcerated women to the proposed research project. Members have collaborated on strategies to identify community assets, measure needs and develop effective interventions that may also reduce recidivism and prevent disease transmission. Outcomes and indicators will be examined within the social and environmental context in which they occur. The CAB has shared its resources to develop a profile of incarcerated women based on needs assessments. The findings will be disseminated to community members, agencies and state and local policy makers. Supportive recovery homes such as Oxford House may be particularly effective in promoting health outcomes and increasing positive health behaviors through social support (Jason et al., 2006b). The DePaul research team and the Oxford House community have been active participants in developing this proposal. The present study will examine the potentially different roles of abstinence-specific and general social support for African-American women who are exiting the criminal justice system. A randomized pretest-posttest experimental design will be employed that compares communal-living settings supportive of abstinence (i.e., Oxford House condition) to a usual care condition. We hypothesize that women assigned to the Oxford House condition will report reduced HIV risk behaviors and better health outcomes (i.e., increased health services utilization), decreased recidivism, increased abstinence from substance use, improved psychological functioning, and higher levels of support than women assigned to the usual care condition at all follow-up intervals. All steps in this project will be guided by active involvement of the community advisory board and lead to more rapid translation of research findings into community practice.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Resource-Related Research Projects (R24)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-RN (01))
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Dankwa-Mullan, Irene
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De Paul University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Stevens, Ed; Jason, Leonard A; Ram, Daphna et al. (2015) Investigating Social Support and Network Relationships in Substance Use Disorder Recovery. Subst Abus 36:396-9
Brereton, Kate L; Alvarez, Josefina; Jason, Leonard A et al. (2014) RECIPROCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SOCIAL SUPPORT AMONG WOMEN IN SUBSTANCE USE RECOVERY. Int J Self Help Self Care 8:239-257
Lo Sasso, Anthony T; Byro, Erik; Jason, Leonard A et al. (2012) Benefits and costs associated with mutual-help community-based recovery homes: The Oxford House model. Eval Program Plann 35:47-53
Czarlinski, Jennifer A; Aase, Darrin M; Jason, Leonard A (2012) Eating disorders, normative eating self-efficacy and body image self-efficacy: women in recovery homes. Eur Eat Disord Rev 20:190-5